Virginia Mercury: Virginia’s minimum wage rises to $9.50 an hour on Saturday — the first increase in over a decade

By Ned Oliver
Virginia Mercury, April 30, 2021

The first of three minimum wage increases approved by Virginia lawmakers will take effect Saturday, guaranteeing the state’s lowest paid workers an hourly rate of $9.50 an hour. ...

Gina Schaefer owns Old Town Ace Hardware in Alexandria and employs 250 people across stores in Virginia, D.C., and Maryland. A member of the group Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, she said her lowest paid employees earn at least $15 an hour.

“For the past eight years, we have paid our folks in Virginia much higher than the Virginia minimum wage and I’m still in business,” she said.

Her motivation is twofold. First, she said she wants her employees to have better lives. Second, the more people earn, the more they can afford to spend at her and other businesses.

“It’s easy as a boss to say I want to pay as cheaply as possible so I can make as much money as possible, but I don’t think as humans we can do that,” she said. “We have a responsibility to help create better communities.” ...

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